After a 2-1 victory over Port Vale in the first round, Sunderland face Blackpool next in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday evening.
Sunderland overcame League Two Port Vale in the first round of the competition scoring a goal in both halves, the second a penalty in the 50th minute. Despite Port Vale getting a goal back in the 67th minute, Sunderland were able to hold on to their lead and progress to the next round.
Tomorrow night it is Championship side Blackpool who await a visit from the Black Cats who currently sit 5th in League One. Here we assess two tweaks Sunderland boss Lee Johnson may consider making to the starting XI for the cup tie.
Patterson stays in goal
21-year-old goalkeeper Anthony Patterson was in the starting line-up for Sunderland’s first-round tie where he only conceded one goal and made a great save to prevent a Vale leveller minutes before the end of the game. The young ‘keeper got his league debut in Saturday’s victory against AFC Wimbledon as Sunderland’s number one Lee Burge picked up a knock in the pre-match warm-up. Patterson did well again, this time securing Sunderland’s first clean sheet of the campaign.
Therefore, Patterson has surely warranted another start in goal for his side. In a game facing higher league opposition, this will be a good opportunity for growth in Patterson’s experience and another opportunity to display his talents.
It’s always healthy to have strong competition between the goalkeepers at a club to keep everyone on the top of their game and it would be good to see the local lad do well for the club. Should Sunderland progress in this competition, it will become a great opportunity for Patterson to pick up useful experience for his future.
Another cup start for Hawkes
With Blackpool having a slow start to life in the Championship currently sitting in 22nd position, Sunderland will feel able to field a bit of younger team like they did last time out in the Carabao Cup. One player who deserves a recall to the starting line-up is midfielder Josh Hawkes.
Despite being on the bench in every league game this season, Hawkes has only played one game which was the first round against Port Vale. However, the young player performed well in this game scoring Sunderland’s first goal of the night with a confident finish from inside the box.
Hawkes made over 60 appearances for Hartlepool United between 2017 – 2020 before joining Sunderland last September. The youngster signed on a two year deal with the club and cup performances could be the stage he needs to show his club he is one who will be coming through into the first team soon.